Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Americans spend $9.7 billion a year on household cleaning supplies. That’s a lot of money. But do you need to clean out your wallet to clean your house?
We decided to shop at a discount store and buy several generic cleaning supplies: glass cleaner, paper towels, dish soap and sponges. The total cost was $4.
Then, we went to a major supermarket chain and bought brand named cleaning supplies: Windex, Bounty, Dawn and Ocelo. The total cost for those products was $12.
Would the brand named products that cost three times as much be better than the generics?
We went to the home of Andria Alexander, a mom of two, who specializes in living frugal. In fact, she runs the website, www.simplyfrugalliving.com.
Without her looking, we put the products in containers labeled A and B.
She started with Glass Cleaner A to clean her stovetop. She liked the results. She also liked the results of Dish Soap A on her dirty dishes.
“Very sudsy. I do like suds,” said Alexander.
She was not a huge fan of Dish Soap B, but it did get the dishes clean. But it lacked suds, so she ended up using more of it to get the job done.
But when it came to Glass Cleaner B, she was impressed. She picked it over A when it came to cleaning her mirror and her dirty garage window.
In the end after cleaning her stove, mirrors, windows and dishes, she had an overall favorite. Andria picked A. She picked the brand named products.
“I like the thickness of the paper towel. I liked that it lasted me longer. I didn’t go through as much of it.
The dish soap, I liked that I didn’t use as much of it either,” she said.
Alexander adds that she liked B better when it came to glass cleaner.
“A worked better on my stove, but left some streaks on my mirrors,” she added.
And switching from A to B glass cleaner would have saved her a bundle. It’s was $1 for the generic compared to $3.50 for the Windex.
While Alexander says she normally uses brand named products to clean her home, she always uses coupons to bring down the price.